Friday, May 28, 2010

Lilacs Part Two

After Zoe and Ella posed with the lilacs for me we went to our neighbors house so they could jump off her retaining wall. They had an absolute blast and I thought the background of purple and green looked really neat too. I also just loved the simplicity of the action shots and how so into the moment the girls were : ) Fun times!!

I love this photo of Ella : )

Doesn't it look like Zoe is floating in this picture?!

Again, doesn't it look like Zoe is floating? And Ella's happy smile just makes me smile : )

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lilacs Part One

I love when the lilacs bloom in Minnesota -- For about two weeks our backyard looks like purple cotton candy and smells even better!! And of course I also love taking pictures of Ella and Zoe enjoying the lilac splendor, and each other : )

Monday, May 24, 2010

Butterfly Release

One of Ella and Zoe's birthday gifts this year was a Butterfly Habitat (we purchased ours from Target for $15 but I think Michaels also sells them). We then ordered the caterpillars online for $5 (super easy) and in about a week we had five tiny Painted Lady Caterpillars delivered right to our mailbox. The caterpillars arrived in a self-contained cup (with a lid), so all we had to do was watch them eat, eat, eat and grow, Grow, GROW!!

They started out being less than a 1/4 inch in length and grew to probably a little more than 2 inches long -- it was pretty amazing to watch. After about 10 days the caterpillars crawled to the top of the cup, hung upside down and started to make their chrysalises. Once all of the caterpillars were snug in their cocoons we pinned the little paper disk they were hanging on to the inside of the butterfly habitat, and then we waited some more.

After another 10 days we noticed a few of the chrysalises had cracks in them, and our first little butterfly made her appearance. The girls named her Lily and she turned out to be the smallest of all the butterflies. Almost a day and a half later the next two caterpillars made their appearances. One of those chrysalises had weird stuff sticking out of it, almost like part of the caterpillar was sticking out, and Ella and Zoe thought it looked like hair. We didn't think he'd make it so when he did the girls named him Harry : ) The third butterfly was named Willy, after Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (I had just told the girls about that movie and they were fixated on how Violet turned into a blueberry). It took another day before the last two butterflies emerged and they were named Tootsie Roll and Grape Juice!!

It was really neat watching the life cycle in action and seeing right before our eyes the transformation from caterpillars to butterflies. Watching the butterflies up close was amazing too. We had seen in books how long their tongues are but to see it right in front of you was extra cool. We kept the butterflies for 2 days and fed them sugar water on flowers (they also like watermelon and oranges but we didn't have any so we stuck with the sugar water). Then on a warm, sunny and kind of windy day we let them go in our backyard.

Carrying the butterfly habitat to one of our flower gardens.

Reaching in the habitat before they flew away.

Zoe holding one on a flower.

Zoe holding one on her finger.

Ella holding Lily on her hand.

And yes, after the last butterfly flew away and Zoe did not get another turn to hold one on her hand we had a bit of a meltdown,
and then a lesson on 'Things We Can't Control'. This past weekend though, we were playing out back and three different times
we saw Lily flying around -- we're on the look-out for her now and it continues to be so much fun : )

Friday, May 21, 2010

Last Day as Ladybugs

Zoe and Ella had their last day of preschool (in the Ladybug Class) yesterday. How did this year speed by so quickly??

It was a great first year -- the girls had super teachers who were caring and nurturing, and they spent their Tuesday and Thursday mornings in a safe environment having a ton of fun.

They met a lot of new friends and learned more about what it means to be a friend and how to be a friend. They learned more about what it means to be a good student, how to listen when it's a listening time, how to wait your turn (especially with kids other than your twin sister), and how to share and work together (again, with someone other than your twin sister).

They created a lot of neat art work, they learned how to use their imaginations in all sorts of new ways, and they became curious about different things they hadn't experienced before.

The year was truly full of fun, and as a mom my hopes for my girls were met: Ella and Zoe loved when it was a school day and going to school, when it was pick-up time they looked forward to the next school day, and they were disappointed when it wasn't a school day. Pretty good start for only being four : )

*Last Day as Ladybugs 'Before School' Photo*
*With the flowers we planted for their teachers*

*Ella with her End of the Year Award*
*Zoe with her End of the Year Award*

*With Mrs. Lisa*

*Mrs. Barb*

*Heading home with their bags full of treats from the Pinata Party*

One other BIG thing Ella and Zoe learned while in preschool was what the word GOAL means. At their spring conference Mrs. Lisa shared her goal for both Ella and Zoe -- to participate more during music time; to sing the songs and do the motions along with singing.

And meet that goal they certainly did, and not only in the safety of their classroom. After dinner last night we went back to school for the graduation ceremony and ice-cream social, and my two little ladybugs sang their little hearts out in front of an audience of close to 100 adults and other kids. They did the motions, they smiled too, and they had fun while being part of the show : )

So that was the definition of a successful year in preschool for me! I loved watching their performance, even though my vision was blurry because of the tears in my eyes : )

*Getting Ready to Sing*

*Video Footage (of course!)*

It was a fun night, and we're glad we could share it with Grampa Lindy . . .

. . . and with Grama Dianne!!

We're excited for summer, but we're looking forward to next year in preschool too -- Butterfly Class watch out, here comes Ella and Zoe!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Way Back When-esday!!

Playing along with Cheryl of Twinfatuation ~

I love when the lilacs bloom in Minnesota, and since the girls have been a year old I've taken their pictures while they play with the lilacs. This year the lilacs bloomed early, and I was able to get some really neat shots of Ella and Zoe holding the flowers as well as shots of them jumping off the retaining wall with lilacs behind them. I'll post those later, but for now here are the girls in May of 2007, checking out the lilacs for the first time:

May 2008 (year two):

May 2009 (year three):

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dad's Day at Preschool

Ella and Zoe spent this morning at the park and zoo with their Dad -- it was 'Dad's Day' at Preschool : ) They all had a great time, and a bonus for me -- SUPER NAPS this afternoon!!

New parks are always fun . . .

~ Class Photo ~

A highlight was watching one of the animals eat breakfast, can you tell what it is??

A sloth -- sooooo cool!!

Ella and Zoe also had a picnic lunch with their Dad and the girls gave him early Father's Day gifts they made at school:
It read: A treat for my Dad because I think he's neat and needs a yummy treat to eat!

*Raisins . . . because you're 'raisin' me!
*Goldfish . . . because you're the big fish in my sea!
*Chex Cereal . . . because you always 'chex' on me!
*Popcorn . . . because you are my Pop!

So cute!!

Only one more day of preschool and then Summer Vacation!! Hard to believe the year is almost over with . . . .